The potential of emergent disruptive technologies for humanitarian supply chains: The integration of Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and 3D Printing


The growing importance of humanitarian operations has created an imperative to overcome the complications currently recorded in the field. Challenges such as delays, congestion, poor communication and lack of accountability may represent opportunities to test the reported advantages of emergent disruptive technologies. Meanwhile, the literature on humanitarian supply chains looks at isolated applications of technology and lacks a framework for understanding challenges and solutions, a gap that this article aims to fill. Using a case study based on the flood of Tabasco of 2007 in Mexico, this research identifies solutions based on the use of emergent disruptive technologies. Furthermore, this article argues that the integration of different technologies is essential to deliver real benefits to the humanitarian supply chain. As a result, it proposes a framework to improve the flow of information, products and financial resources in humanitarian supply chains integrating three emergent disruptive technologies; Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and 3D Printing. The analysis presented shows the potential of the framework to reduce congestion in the supply chain, enhance simultaneous collaboration of different stakeholders, decrease lead times, increase transparency, traceability and accountability of material and financial resources, and allow victims to get involved in the fulfilment of their own needs.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Operations & Information Management
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Aston India Foundation for Applied Research
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Advanced Services Group
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in International Journal of Production Research on 13 May 2020, available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords: 3D printing,Artificial Intelligence,Humanitarian logistics,blockchain,disaster management,disruptive technologies,Strategy and Management,Management Science and Operations Research,Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Publication ISSN: 1366-588X
Last Modified: 22 May 2024 07:16
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2020 14:47
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.tan ... 43.2020.1761565 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-08-02
Published Online Date: 2020-05-13
Accepted Date: 2020-04-20
Authors: Rodríguez-Espíndola, Oscar (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-4889-1565)
Chowdhury, Soumyadeb (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-8074-248X)
Beltagui, Ahmad (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-2687-0971)
Albores, Pavel (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-7509-9381)



Version: Accepted Version

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